Monday, June 23, 2008

My rant about District 30 Little League

It is almost a week since this happened. I have purposely waited to let my emotions calm down and try to find a good reason for what has happened. But I am still amazed at what has happened.

As I mentioned earlier, Rabbit was selected to participate on the All Star team. Another boy from our team was selected also. Rabbit and this boy have been friends for 4 years and my wife and I are good friends with the parents. In fact, the other dad helped us coach this year. Both boys deserved the honor and were excited to play.

I was given a list of "acceptable" documents that I could provide to prove my residency. Keep in mind that this is after we had to prove our residency in order to sign up to play in the regular season. Among the allowed documents was a driver's license, utility bills, insurance cards, vehicle registration, school records and other similar documents. One mandatory document that was required was the birth certificate. But not the abstract, the actual full document. A photocopy was not allowed, neither was a notarized copy, it HAD to be the original. I even asked if I could supply his passport, a government issued photo ID. And we were supposed to leave it with the league for up to two weeks for them to verify that it was, in fact, the original. Sorry, not going to happen that way.

I supplied 4 forms of ID and made arrangements to drop off the birth certificate at the league offices the day it was needed. I simply was not comfortable leaving it with them for any length of time and knew that I would get it back the next morning. Please let me clarify that the people from our league were great. It is the district personnel that I have an issue with. I did not have faith that the district would keep track of my documents. So, I hand over the certificate at 5PM and off we go to a ChivasUSA soccer game.

We get home about 10PM and there are 3 messages on my phone. The first one is the manager of the All Star team asking me to call him immediately, the second is from our league informing us that Rabbit has been disallowed due to a problem with the documents and the third was our league trying to reach us again to clarify an issue. They had disallowed our son. I was furious. I fear that Rabbit learned some new words that night, or at least heard those words in new combinations. The basis for their disqualification was that I use my middle name. I have done that for over 20 years. No one at the league even knows my first name. My driver's license, vehicle registration and Rabbit's birth certificate had me listed as First Name Middle Name Last Name. The phone bill was listed as Middle Name Last Name. For that, that one item, they were going to disqualify us. The addresses all matched, if they bothered to read any of the documents, or cross check them it would have been obvious. But no, they refused to allow it. This is the worst form of power hungry twit I have ever dealt with. Anyone with half a brain could connect the dots. The district people are fools and spent hours trying to discredit players and parents. The were calling me a liar and accusing me of trying to game the system. This was stupid, petty and beyond unreasonable. Exactly what I expect from dealing with these clods.

They finally allowed that we were not perpetrating a massive fraud and accepted that some people do actually go by their middle names. We found that out the next morning, after a long night of no sleep. I spent hours trying to find a way to explain to my son that he would not be playing because some district flunkie had no sense of logic. Once we were reinstated we found out that Rabbit's friend had been disqualified as well. He was removed because he lived 2 blocks outside of the district boundaries. They have lived in that house nearly 20 years. For each of the last 5 seasons this boy has played in our league. They have dutifully taken their money and never raised an eyebrow in notice. Now this boy is excluded. This family can literally see the fields from their backyard, but allegedly belong to a Little League that plays 7 miles away. They "should have known" or gotten a waiver. The family was notified two weeks after the waiver deadline passed.

I have heard that an entire team of 9-10 All Stars was dismantled under the scrutiny of this district board. This is embarrassing. The district needs to reconsider their commitment to the kids. This petty, discretionary application of the rules, for a team that cannot advance to a national level anyway reeks of a power grab. They should be ashamed.

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